Rejoicings at Lismore for O'Connell's Liberation

But leaving the "good and great man," let us walk to the pleasant town of Lismore.

When my guide had conducted me to the town, and showed me into the celebrated church, which in the days of the never-forgotten Cromwell was defaced, and taken possession of by the Protestants, he abruptly took leave, saying, "I have showed ye all I can." I stood alone in the midst of that venerable pile, looking at its pictures and stained glass windows, through which the setting sun shed a mellow light, throwing upon its walls a softened sadness, which, as the flickering rays died away, seemed to say, "The glory of Erin is departed."

The town was in high glee, for O'Connell was liberated. One of the newspaper editors who had been imprisoned with him was there, and bonfires blazed in various places, their smoke giving to the tasteful little town the appearance of a reeking furnace. I hastened to the bridge, to look at the castle of the Duke of Devonshire. It is situated upon an elevated site, overlooking the romantic Blackwater.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.